How to get to Dubrovnik with the Eurail pass
Nicknamed “Pearl of the Adriatic”, Dubrovnik sparkles and shimmers like the crown jewel of the Balkans. This popular destination in the extreme south of Croatia draws in travelers from near and far, and it’s easy to see why with its grand marble streets, Venetian-style buildings, and sun-kissed beaches. No visit to Croatia is complete without experiencing the old city of Dubrovnik.
Despite the efficient transport network in Croatia, the train network only reaches as far south as Split but not to Dubrovnik. But don’t let that stop you from discovering this treasure trove on your Eurail trip.
How to get to Dubrovnik
Split is the furthest your Eurail pass can take you within Croatia. From this port city, there are two ways of getting to Dubrovnik:
Direct ferry from Split
Jadrolinija runs a ferry service every Saturday and Tuesday from 31 May to 29 September. The scenic route takes you along the coast and stops at several islands, including Hvar Stari Grad, Korčula and Mljet, before ending the journey at Dubrovnik ferry terminal. The entire journey takes 11 hours, departing Split at 7.30 a.m. and arriving in Dubrovnik at 6.30 p.m. Split’s ferry terminal is located next to the train station, at the far end of the port.
The passenger fare differs depending on the type of accommodation you choose. Deck fare is the cheapest at 16 Euros, while the cabin prices range from 37 Euros for a 3 or 4-person cabin with a wash basin to 67.50 Euros for a 2-person cabin with a toilet and shower. Meals can be booked in advance — a lunch or dinner set costs 18 Euros while breakfast is priced at 5.50 Euros. Note that 23% tax is not included in the menu prices. You can book your ferry tickets in advance on Jadrolinija’s website.
Bus from Split
Buses to Dubrovnik depart almost every hour from Split’s main bus terminal, which is located next to the train station. The journey varies from four to five hours, covering a distance of 135 miles (215km) along the coastal road. You’ll pass through Bosnia-Herzegovina, so be sure to carry your passport. Bosnian border checks may delay the journey. The bus journey is rather scenic especially when you’re weaving along the coastline.
The bus ride costs between 100 and 150 Kunas (15 Euros) and luggage costs a separate fee of 10 Kunas (1.30-1.70 Euros). Click to see the bus schedule. You can book your bus tickets at Split’s bus terminal.
Top 5 things to do in Dubrovnik
Wander around the old town
Going to Dubrovnik without seeing the old town is akin to visiting Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. Despite the summer crowds, Dubrovnik’s old town is a must-see with a labyrinth of Venetian-style buildings, churches, clock towers and palaces. Once you take time to dig deeper, you’ll find hidden pockets where locals hang out and even remnants from the 1991 attack that almost destroyed the city.
Walk on the city walls
Erected between the 13th and 16th centuries, the city walls that envelope the old town offer vantage views of the churches and houses as well as the surrounding sea. Standing at 25m high and stretching over 2km in length, these walls are some of the finest in the world. The entrance to the walls is at the left of Pile Gate and a ticket costs 50 kunas (8.50 Euros).
Take the cable car to Mountain Srđ for the best views
Arguably the best view of Dubrovnik is located 405m above the city on Mountain Srđ. The fastest and easiest way to get there is by cable car, which takes you there from north of the city walls in four minutes. A round-trip ticket costs 94 kunas (6 Euros).
Lounge on Banje Beach
Unwind after a day of sightseeing on Banje Beach, the closest beach to the old town. Even though it can get rather crowded in summer, you’ll find its cool water a comforting respite from the heat. To get there, exit the old town from Ploče Gate and head beyond the Lazareti.
Learn about its history at a War Gallery
For history buffs, this powerful photographic gallery curated by photojournalist Wade Goddard is highly worth visiting. Current exhibitions at War Photo Limited include photos from the Bosnian war in 1993 and from South Sudan after the civil war. From June to September, it is opened daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.